186: What Is Normal?

Yesterday I listened to an interview called “Lost Your True Self – Life Review” – and it covered the topic of how we tend to suppress our real and genuine expressions – and instead present ourselves to the world as something we believe to be accepted and normal in the eyes of others. In this particular instance – the person had been quelled through defining herself only in relation to her exterior representation – her picture presentation – thinking that this is ALL of what and who she is.

I could relate to this interview on many levels – primarily the point of defining myself in relation to my physical exterior – but also the point of not allowing my genuine and real expression to come through because I fear that this expression might not be accepted or considered normal by my immediate surroundings. It’s interesting to note that we seldom ask ourselves where we’ve gotten this idea of ‘normal’ from – what is really normal? Many times we define normal according to what our friends share with us, or what we see on television, or hear in music – and almost never do we dare to ask ourselves – what WE consider and can accept to be normal.

Because the only way to live normalcy in self-honesty – is to ask ourselves who and how we are as normal – what is our normal, genuine and real expression? That is something that we’re only able to establish for ourselves when we allow ourselves to look within and see/be intimate with ourselves. We must also take into account that what is currently being professed as ‘normal’ in this world can’t be trusted ­– why? Because it’s historically lead us down some severely compromising paths – simply because we accepted various human traits as ‘normal’ – for example that: “War is a human condition” – obviously it’s not a “human-condition” – it’s something that we decide for ourselves and something we do – a condition is something that we have no control and direction over and is something that ‘just happens’ – while war is something we make a decision to do and then act upon it – and it’s seen as acceptable in the main-stream of consciousness because it’s ‘normal’.

What I see is that we have a responsibility to re-define normal – and bring into existence a new normal – to bring the ‘normal’ of living up to standards – realizing that the only acceptable ‘normal’ way of living is where we honor ourselves and each-other – through for example: learning to think critically and question the various accepted assumptions that exist in this world about how we should exist and how we shouldn’t exist – most of the times when we question a generally accepted presumption – we’re able to find that it has no basis in reality – it’s just an idea. For example: “It’s human nature to be greedy” – is it really? Or could it be that the human is indoctrinated into greed? Could it be that greed is learned and not a condition?

Obviously – we must answer these questions ourselves – because one thing’s for sure – we can’t trust the ‘normal’ that is put out there in the world and that is broadcasted as a truth.


2 thoughts on “186: What Is Normal?

  1. Donna Thompson

    Ubber Interesting!! Hello Persson from Sweden. I would add that the idea of normalcy has long been questioned,redefined and blatantly unaccepted: Malcolm Gladwell “Outliers”, James Joyce, “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man”, “Philomena”, by Martin Sixwith,(follows the path that is culturally encouraged then reasserts an idea of her own). “Death of Salesman” by Arthur Millar, “Metapmorphasis” Kafka. Dickens, Bleak House, Deafening, Francis Itani,Alaska, can’t remember author sorry. The Misanthrope by Moliere also investigates the idea. Art: Picasso -human figures presented in geometrical anomalies, misforms as an augmentation to the perfect portraits like Mona Lisa. Andy Warhol and colour distortion ,overlays of celebrity portraits.

    I do not think the question is normalcy, but rather identity (external and internal), personal, national, global. How we see ourselves and how people view us, US(not to be confuses with the U.S). The tension and conflict happens exactly there. How we deal with this conflict is the essence of being human. The time, cultural milieu often determines the course, but brave is the voice(person, leader, nation(s)) that can see a better future if the present is not the one that works well for a civilization.eg. Medieval times were considered empty of reason and fraught with superstition and singular, powerful religious beliefs. Renaissance came in and balance was restored. This is rather a simple eg. Sorry, I know there are less obvious ones than this, but I wanted to make the point clear.

    Some crave acceptance as part and parcel of identity. Others seek to be independent thinkers,and feel fulfilled to ? the mainstage, but not to spur on hate or imbalance. Do you see the scale of the human reaction inside of socioeconomicpolitical existence? Some simply vi for the top of the pyramid and this is the identity that matters. Yes, some of this is learned and enforced through a complex reward system, beyond simple Pavlovian. Stems from a heritage, backpack , media exposure and internet, very difficult to unlearn what has been put in place. I guess that is why we should TAKE CARE. Be careful what we choose to believe.

    The potential for good seems to be growing some wings among individuals, corporate citizenship and international alliances.

    Greed is still rampant globally, but ill defined and used rather too quickly, flat note.

    I love your last line …so great! I agree strongly with the idea that war is not a human condition but a mindset. It should be a choice,an active engagement and or strategy available when imbalance threatens human liberties in a large way.eg. WWII and current extremists. If we could think that peace is more the natural state of human beings,cooperation, ingenuity, and unity in difficult times then maybe just maybe we could change the world> ooo la la.

    Next ? 🙂


    1. Viktor Persson Post author

      Cool that you liked it Donna.

      I agree with you that there are various avenues of human potential that has yet to be explored – and as I said: It’s up to us to explore – question – and create the new standard of what it means to be a human being – and in that standard we obviously won’t accept and allow war to exist – because there are a myriad of other ways to solve our indifferences.



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